From sona pona, the English–Toki Pona wiki
alasa in sitelen pona
alasa in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈ (listen)
Usage 2023: Core (99%  )
2022: Core (97%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Preverb, content word
Codepoint 󱤃 U+F1903

alasa is a core content word and preverb relating to hunting and searching.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word alasa is derived from Acadian French à la chasse, meaning "on the hunt".[1] It was coined by jan Sonja, as cited in the Toki Pona wiki around 2009.[2]

Adoption[edit | edit source]

The word was initially rejected by some speakers as they deemed it against Toki Pona's philosophy of minimalism[3] or because it was a recently added word.[4] Nowadays, as of the Linku's 2023 survey, it is considered a core part of the vocabulary used by around 99% of speakers surveyed.

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

Under construction: This section needs work. If you know about this topic, you can help us by editing it. (See all)

The semantic space of alasa includes searching, that may be for food, as in hunting (violentely or not) and foraging, or in general, such as searching a query.

mi alasa e kala 

mi alasa e kala.

We are fishing. (literally, "we are hunting fish")

Preverb[edit | edit source]

As a preverb, alasa refers to attempting to perform an action. This usage is also covered by the preverb lukin and was acknowledged in the Toki Pona Dictionary.[5][6]

o alasa lukin e lipu 

o alasa lukin e lipu.

Try to read the document.

pu[edit | edit source]

In the "Official Toki Pona Dictionary" section, the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good defines alasa as:

VERB  to hunt, forage

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as alasa:[7]

hunt5, hunting5, search4, pursuit4, pursue4, gather4, finding3, seek3, explore3, chase2, locate2, try2, collect2, quest2, catch2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for alasa (󱤃) represents a bow and arrow, pointing towards the right, following the direction of text.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Word Origins. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Toki Pona.
  2. rdmiller3. (5 October 2009). "nimi sin sin (eĉ plu novaj vortoj, even more new words)". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  3. jan Ape. (20 December 2009). "What's the difference between "alasa e" and "kama jo e"". "The word "alasa" is definitely not minimalistic. It can't be broken down to "lukin jo e" or "kama jo e", why such a useless word? […]". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  4. jan Ote. (20 October 2009). "Re: jan Kikamesi. jan lawa pi ma tomo Uluku". "I avoid 'alasa' intentionally. It's a new word, and in my opinion it's too insignificant to include it to the official dictionary.". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 17 November 2023.
  5. Lang, Sonja (2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 9.
  6. waso Keli [@kelly.hi]. (12 October 2023). [Informal poll posted in the #sona-kulupu channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. "[…] do you use "alasa" to mean "try", including when you're not using it as a preverb?". Discord. Retrieved 29 October 2023.
    Do you use alasa for the meaning "to try", including when not as a preverb?
    Option Votes
    I don't use it as a preverb, nor standalone "try" 7
    I use it as a preverb, but not as standalone "try" 49
    I use it as a preverb, as well as as standalone "try" 42
    Other option 8
  7. Lang, Sonja (2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 200.

Further reading[edit | edit source]